Over the past year, we have all seen a post on social media that starts off like this or with a “I am ready to clean up my friends list soon.” I see statements like this as pure buffoonery. Nothing more than the childhood version of ‘play my game or I am going home.’
I knew kids like this when I was 7. We had to play their game or they would go home. Even then, I thought this was the stupidest thing ever. “Well that sucks, because I am sure we could find something we all want to play.” I would advise them and then the other kids would discuss options. Usually the “un-friender” would end up joining the conversation and we would work out some compromise and play something we could all get behind. We found common ground.
It was a ridiculous tactic then and even more so now. We have somehow forgotten how to seek common ground with others. We have abandoned the ideal that it is OK to have different opinions from another. For some reason, this is a foreign concept to us now as we have grown into keyboard ninjas on social media. Stuff we would not say in person spews onto our posts or the comments of others. It is rather insane to me.
The latest thing that has me scratching my head is Uber CEO’s, Travis Kalanick, decision to leave the President’s business advisory council. People were campaigning to delete Uber because his presence on the council insinuated he supported the POTUS. He became afraid and left. It is hard for me to judge him too harshly because I don’t have all the details and his responsibility is to protect his employees. I am judging those who put the pressure on him and the collective mindset of the masses and, ultimately, the long-term impact.
He feared the backlash and apologized to his team and customers. Then he distanced himself from the Trump administration. Personally, I would rather have a boss who had a voice in the future of business in our nation. If some regulation was about to impact Uber, he could have a voice, but now it is gone. This would be like a state saying they are no longer having their senators go to the Hill and vote on matters affecting the country. But this is somehow an acceptable mindset this day and age.
We post our opinions and feelings on social media and they are polarizing from the opening line. “If you believe Trump is good, you’re a moron.” or “If you think Trump is bad, you’re a snowflake.” Then we spread these posts like wild-fire. I am not sure why though. No one has ever read one of these articles and said, “Wow, I really am a moron. Maybe I should change my ways.” Instead, we jump into the comment section and blast the poster and continue spitting venom.
First off, we need to take the advice that has been around for ages to not discuss politics or religion in an open forum. This is age-old advice. Mark Twain (who lived in the 1800’s) once said, “in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.” Bottom-line, your post about x-y-z is not going to change anyone’s thoughts or opinions. They are ingrained within.
Then there is the matter of the image you are portraying. Many employers admit they are stalking you on social media before they consider you employing you. Would you want to work with someone who spreads negativity?
My next point is more of a request. Please, stop spreading junk. Instead of calling the other side dumb, seek to understand why they feel that way if you really must discuss politics. I know that there are very smart, kind, and humble people on both sides of the aisle. If I am going to talk politics, I would prefer to hear their reasoning and not just recycled hate from news outlets that are biased.
Lastly, we are all in this together, wouldn’t it be better to seek a common ground?